Wednesday, April 25, 2012

What Angry Birds Can Teach Publishers About Print

The creator of Angry Birds has been a book publisher for less than five months but already grasps a truth that eludes so many long-time publishers.

“It is actually not relevant whether we choose print or a digital channel – what matters is that there is someone out there who cares, who reads, listens, and communicates with us. That’s what publishing is all about, communication,” Peter Vesterbacka, CMO at Rovio Entertainment Ltd, told The Griffin, papermaker UPM-Kymmene’s corporate magazine. Ironically, that quotation is in the print and PDF versions of the magazine but not the web version.

Many panicked publishers seem to have adopted the mindset that the web is replacing print and then apps will replace the web.

No stupid arguments
But Finland-based Rovio and its Angry Birds game apps are so successful that it can actually make intelligent media choices instead of following the herd. You won’t hear any of the stupid print-versus-digital debates that dominate the discussions of more experienced publishers.

“Stories can be told through so many channels, the book is not a given in all cases,” Sanna Lukander of Rovio Books said in November when the company launched its first title, Bad Piggies’ Egg Recipes. “It´s up to us publishers to share the stories in the preferred formats and through the channels that our readers feel comfortable with."

The recipe book, by the way, is not available in Kindle, Nook, or iBook formats. You can only get it in print.

Rovio has followed up with Angry Birds-themed coloring books, board books, and a sticker book – all of which play to print’s strengths. Now it is combing through manuscripts “on the lookout for wonderful stories,” according to The Griffin.

“I must say,” Lukander commented, “that the traditional book is really a wonderful format to cherish.”

Related articles:



Anonymous said...

Why can't publishers only make their books available in print and not offer them digitally?

That would certainly be one way to drive consumers back to print.

As for me, I prefer to read a book than read from a computer screen. There is something about holding a book and turning the pages that can never replace the interaction

Anonymous said...

Why can't publishers offer their books only in print? You would think this would drive books back to print and recover lost revenues.

As for me, there is nothing better than holding a book in your hand and turning the pages.

Anonymous said...

Publishers are offering digital versions because you don't live forever. Your children's children will grow up digitally and will want digital and may not even know what a print book was.

Chuck Baldwin said...

That's a valid argument if you just started publishing 5 months ago. Not so much if you're publication has been around over a hundred years...